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Black Ecumenical Movements: Proponents of Social Change

Mary R. Sawyer
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 30, No. 2 (Dec., 1988), pp. 151-161
DOI: 10.2307/3511352
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3511352
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Black Ecumenical Movements: Proponents of Social Change
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Abstract

Since the black consciousness movement of the 1950s and '60s nearly a dozen black ecumenical movements have come into existence, ranging from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the Congress of National Black Churches. A matrix of such movements is developed which suggests two paradigms: a Black Cosmos/Social Activism paradigm emphasizing black self-development through political and economic institution-building, and a Universal/Theological Reflection paradigm emphasizing systematic development of black theology as a medium for dialogue and coalition- building with the white church. The dialectic of these two paradigms, which defines "black ecumenism," has as its primary objective black empowerment and liberation, toward the end of participation as an "equal among equals" in a pluralistic American society and in an inclusive Universal Church comprised of culturally-defined particularities.

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